Faith Smith, Community

Everyone knows the word fondue. Its name is derived from the French verb ‘fondre’, which means ‘to melt.’ Its Swiss origins are relatively humble, beginning as a dish made by poorer families to help them stretch their limited food through the winter. Cheese was melted with wine then stale bread was dipped into it, allowing the bread to soften slightly and be eaten. The first recipes for fondue were published in the 18th century and called for gruyère, a swiss cheese named after the town of Gruyères in Fribourg. Fondue is traditionally a winter dish, “a one-pot meal of comfort food to be enjoyed family style,” served in an earthenware pot known as a caquelon (Alpenwild). The Swiss let no part of fondue go to waste after all the melted cheese has been eaten, they cut up the crusty cheese from the bottom of the pot and pass it around to be eaten.

Cheese fondue typically includes gruyère, vacherin fribourgeois, cherry brandy, white wine, corn starch, and of course, things to dip in it. The process for making the fondue is fairly simple: melt the cheese and wine together. Add the cornstarch and some seasonings, then viola! It’s done. According to Sean Andrade, owner of AWG Private Chefs, “farm fresh organic vegetables raw or steamed, oven-roasted pebble or fingerling potatoes, grilled crusty bread cubes (sourdough, ciabatta, rye, day-old baguette), pears, cornichon, slices of cooked chicken or ham,” are the best things to dip in cheese fondue. There are certain cheeses that you will find in a traditional Swiss fondue, but any cheese that melts well can be added or substituted for another cheese.

If you’re looking for a sweeter fondue, you can try one made of chocolate. Chocolate fondue usually consists of only a few ingredients: heavy cream, salt, liqueur, and of course, chocolate. The biggest decision you have to make with chocolate fondue is what to dip in it; so many things go well with chocolate. There’s the option of fruit such as apples, oranges, berries, grapes, or most other fruit you enjoy; you could also use marshmallows, pretzels, pound cake, graham crackers, shortbread cookies, and much more. There is something for everyone to enjoy when eating chocolate fondue.

Another type of fondue commonly enjoyed is fondue bourguignonne, also known as meat fondue, or hot oil fondue. This fondue is a bowl of hot oil that you cook pieces of meat in. The most commonly used meats are fillet mignon (beef), chicken breast, pork tenderloin, and veal cutlets. After the meat is cooked through, you can eat it as is, or you could dip it in sauces like Brazilian chimichurri, Asian sweet chili sauce, Japanese teriyaki, horseradish roasted garlic aioli, Mexican salsa verde, curry oil, a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, and many others.

Other types of fondue vary by culture and country, but regardless, fondue is a dish to be enjoyed by all. Whether you want creamy cheese, sweet chocolate, or filling meat, there’s a type of fondue for you.



Andrade, Sean. “Top 5 Best Fondue Recipes: Chocolate to Cheese • AWG Private Chefs.” AWG Private Chefs, 12 May 2023, commonly%20 prepared,fondue)%2C%20and%20brother%20 fondue.

“Fondue: History and Tradition.” Fondue | History | Tradition | Recipe,,could%20gather%20around%20the%20earth.